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Alternative Scriptwriting, 5th Edition

Book Description

Learn the rules of scriptwriting, and then how to successfully break them.Unlike other screenwriting books, this unique guide pushes you to challenge yourself and break free of tired, formulaic writing--bending or breaking the rules of storytelling as we know them. Like the best-selling previous editions, seasoned authors Dancyger and Rush explore alternative approaches to the traditional three-act story structure, going beyond teaching you "how to tell a story" by teaching you how to write against conventional formulas to produce original, exciting material. The pages are filled with an international range of contemporary and classic cinema examples to inspire and instruct. New to this edition. New chapter on the newly popular genres of feature documentary, long-form television serials, non-linear stories, satire, fable, and docudrama.

New chapter on multiple-threaded long form, serial television scripts. New chapter on genre and a new chapter on how genre’s very form is flexible to a narrative. New chapter on character development.
New case studies, including an in-depth case study of the dark side of the fable, focusing on The Wizard of Oz  and Pan’s Labyrinth.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Half Title
  3. Title Page
  4. Copyright
  5. Dedication
  6. Contents
  7. Preface
  8. Acknowledgments for the Fifth Edition
  9. Introduction
    1. Chapter 1: Beyond the Rules
  10. Structure
    1. Chapter 2: Structure
    2. Chapter 3: Critique of Restorative Three-Act Form
    3. Chapter 4: Counter-Structure
    4. Chapter 5: More Thoughts on Three Acts: Fifteen Years Later
    5. Chapter 6: Narrative and Anti-Narrative: The Case of the Two Stevens
    6. Chapter 7: Multiple Threaded Long-Form Television Serial Scripts
  11. Genre
    1. Chapter 8: Why Genre?
    2. Chapter 9: Working with Genre I
    3. Chapter 10: Working with Genre II: The Melodrama and the Thriller
    4. Chapter 11: Working Against Genre
    5. Chapter 12: The Flexibility of Genre
    6. Chapter 13: Genres of Voice
    7. Chapter 14: The Non-Linear Film
    8. Chapter 15: The Fable: A Case Study of Darkness: The Wizard of Oz and Pan’s Labyrinth
  12. Character
    1. Chapter 16: Reframing the Active/Passive Character Distinction
    2. Chapter 17: Stretching the Limits of Character Identification
    3. Chapter 18: Main and Secondary Characters
    4. Chapter 19: Subtext, Action, and Character
    5. Chapter 20: Exceptional, but Opaque Characters in Flattened Scripts
    6. Chapter 21: The Primacy of Character Over Action: The Non-American Screenplay
  13. Form, Tone, and Theory
    1. Chapter 22: The Subtleties and Implications of Screenplay Form
    2. Chapter 23: Agency and the Other
    3. Chapter 24: Character, History, and Politics
    4. Chapter 25: Tone: The Inescapability of Irony
    5. Chapter 26: Dramatic Voice/Narrative Voice
    6. Chapter 27: Digital Features
    7. Chapter 28: Writing the Narrative Voice
    8. Chapter 29: Rewriting
    9. Chapter 30: Adaptations from Contemporary Literature
  14. Conclusion
    1. Chapter 31: Personal Scriptwriting: The Edge
    2. Chapter 32: Personal Scriptwriting: Beyond the Edge
  15. Index